Design of robust active trailer steering controllers for multi-trailer articulated heavy vehicles using software/hardware-in-the-loop real-time simulations
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Due to their remarkable economic and environmental benefits, Multi-Trailer Articulated Heavy Vehicles (MTAHVs) have been frequently adopted by the trucking industry. Despite the above advantages, MTAHVs exhibit two particular challenges concerning road safety. MTAHVs exhibit poor maneuverability at low speeds and low lateral stability at high speeds. To address these issues, an Active Trailer Steering (ATS) system using two control techniques is proposed. In recent years, the Linear Quadratic Regular (LQR) technique has been applied to the design of controllers for ATS systems of Articulated Heavy Vehicles (AHVs). In the LQR-based controller designs, all vehicle system parameters, e.g., forward speed and operating conditions, are assumed to be predefined. However, in real-life applications, the operating conditions, such as trailer payload and forward speed, may vary. Thus, the robustness of the LQR-based ATS controllers is doubted. To address this dilemma, a robust ATS controller is designed using the combined method of a Linear Matrix Inequality (LMI) and the LQR technique. To assess the robustness of the LMI+LQRbased ATS controller, the payload of the trailer and the dynamic parameters of the trailer steering actuator are introduced as the vehicle system parametric uncertainties. The performance of the proposed ATS controllers is evaluated using Software/Hardware-In-the-Loop (SHIL) real-time (RT) simulations. The results of the research indicate that the LMI+LQR-based ATS controller can achieve desired system performance under parametric uncertainties.
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